On a human-centric view of AI


With AI, as with any new technology, there is generally a lack of human-centric thinking going on. This is the classic “people don’t want a 9 inch drill, they want a 9 inch hole” type jobs-to-be-done stuff.

No, AIs will not replace the job to be done of expressing yourself creatively via writing, though they will augment and change it just as word processors and the internet already have, massively.

Yes, AI may indeed replace manual writing as the solution for the job of crafting your resume, marketing your product, communicating your research, and so on. That seems overwhelmingly positive — any superior solution for that job is progress.

What worries people about LLMs, rightly so, is that writing right now is the preferred solution for the job of honing your communication and thinking skills, proving your humanity, developing real and meaningful relationships online, and so on.

But instead of AI “taking over” those jobs, AI’s ability to write compellingly may decrease writing’s quality as a solution for those jobs. When everyone has an AI sidekick, why should you write your own intro post to a community where the job-to-be-done is finding connections?

And so, the correct question wrt AI is actually what solutions for those jobs will be most effective in a world where writing is a bad solution? Will short-form video continue to take off as a solution to the job of developing your personal brand and connecting with others?

If so, perhaps developing verbal communication skills will grow in importance as a job relative to the job of developing your written communication skills. In which case, the lament over less writing leading to less honing of communication skills is a bit misguided. And so on.